Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Poutin' Stout

Brew date: Sunday, Oct. 8, 2011
(Dithyrambic Roasted Brown Ale, p. 197-8)
5 gal

  • 1/2 lb (~232 g) Roasted Barley
  • 1/4 lb (~125 g) Black Malt
  • 7 1/2 lbs Amber Malt Extract
  • 1 1/2 oz German Norther Brewer Hops (Hopunion LLC)
  • 1/4 oz Willamette Hops (Hopunion LLC)
  • 1 1/4 c Briess Dried Malt Extract (for bottling)
  • Wyeast Direct Pitch Activator for Brewing - 1335 British Ale II

Add crushed barley and black malt to 2 gal water and let steep at 150-160 'F for 30mins. Strain (used cheese cloth). Add malt extract and German Northern Brewer hops. Boil 60 mins. Add Willamette hops during final 10 mins. Sparge and transfer to 2 gal cold water in fermentor. Top off with cold water to 5 gal. Add yeast when cool. (Note: Cooling takes a few hours. Added yeast almost 6 hours after first activated.)
  • 10/14 - CO2 at 6.8 sec
  • 10/15 - CO2 at 9.6 sec (Basement temp at ~71-72 'F, 45% humidity)
(*Note: Moved dehumidifier into basement. Keeps room at approx. 70-80 'F, 35-45% humidity.)
(*Note: Covered fermentor with sheet to keep out light; all except spout with fermentation lock.)
  • 10/18 - CO2 at 40 sec
  • 10/19 - CO2 at 1:45 min
  • 10/20 - CO2 at 2:30 min (Beer has cleared and settled)
  • 10/21 - Bottling: Racked beer into second fermentor, added 1 1/4 c dried malt extract boiled in 16 oz water for 5 mins. Gravity at 1.022 upon bottling.
Taste: Coffee, bitter chocolate, more like a stout than a brown ale. Very excited about this beer from first taste!
  • 11/1 - First beer: Deep amber/brown color. Slight smell of yeast. Nice carbonation. More like a stout or light porter than a brown ale. Dry taste. Coffee, smoke, (very) slight sweetness. Sediment and yeast seems to have settled well. Overall impression: Very Good! I would buy this beer at a bar, maybe even more than one.
  • 11/13 - Beer has filled in. Nice hint of sweetness (dark chocolate-like) before dry bitter flavor at end. Jenny loves it! Have decided to call it "Poutin' Stout" in her honor.

Kramber Ale (Badger Amber Ale)

Since this blog is coming a few months after my first and second batches of beer, I'd better get you up-to-date. Here's an account of my first foray into brewing beer!

Brew date: Friday, July 29, 2011
5 gal.

  • 6 lbs Amber Malt Extract
  • 1 oz Willamette hops
  • 1 oz Kent Goldings hops
  • 1 pkg Wyeast Activator 1056 American Ale yeast

Bring 6 qrts of water to a boil. Add malt extract and 1 oz Willamette hops. Boil 30 mins. Add 1/2 oz Kent Goldings hops and boil 8 mins. Add 1/2 oz Kent Goldings hops and boil 2 mins.

Remove wort from heat. Place pot in sink containing cold water and ice. Let cool ~15 mins. Add to 3 3/4 gal cold water in fermentor carboy. Top off with cold water to 5 1/4 gal. Pitched yeast at just below 80 'F. Specific gravity: 1.038.

Basement temp: 74 'F, 63% humidity.
  • 7/30 - Fermentor overflowed, replaced fermentation lock. (Lesson: Consider using blow-off hose for next batch?) Basement temp: 72 'F, 62% humidity.
  • 7/31 - CO2 bubbling ~44 sec.
  • 8/3 - CO2 bubbling ~1.22 min
  • 8/9 - Gravity @ 1.013
  • 8/18 - Priming sugar: Boiled 3/4 c corn sugar in 4 oz water. Added to second-stage carboy. Racked beer from from fermentor into carboy. Bottled immediately.
Recipe from the Wine and Hop Shop

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Brewing beer (and a blog)

Two things I'd never done, but always wanted to do: brew beer AND start a blog.

After a few years of wanting to try my hand at homebrewing, I finally pulled the trigger this past June: I bought a kit and immediately dived in. So far, the experience has been intoxicating. (Don't worry, I already hate myself for the pun.) After two batches, I'm now planning my third. Then, in the process of jotting down ingredients and formulating a recipe, it hit me: Why not start a blog about homebrewing?! Posting online would be an easy (and fun?) way to track my progress and store what I've learned.

So here I am; brewing beer and blog. I'll post my experience: Recipes, tips, and more; and hopefully have some fun along the way.